Passport booklet shortage to be audited

The staff of the Vanuatu National Audit Officer that recently underwent a week-long Performance Audit training, pose with Mrs. Terry Campbell. Sitting: From right to left : Sandra Garae, Marinette Charley and Priscilla Bongnebu. Standing: From right to left, Judith Iauma, Mrs Terry Campbell and Daniella Remy. Photo: Audit Office

A performance audit into the shortage of Vanuatu’s Green passport booklets is currently underway and is conducted by the Vanuatu National Audit Office.

This is the first time for this institution to undertake a performance audit.

Auditor General Mr Caleb Sandy explained that there are three types of audit; the Financial audit, the performance audit and compliance audit.

Mr Sandy informed Daily Post that the audit is conducted following a request from the Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and is possible following a recent training facilitated by the Queensland Audit Office.

Last year on numerous occasions, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, responsible for Immigration has declared a shortage in passports.

Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat blamed the supplier which is based in Germany for delaying the shipment of the passport booklets.

Daily Post understands that a high demand of locals travelling to New Zealand and Australian under the seasonal schemes was a contributing factor to the issuance of more passport booklets.

In May 2018, Vanuatu National Audit Office signed an agreement with Queensland Audit Office and last week Vanuatu’s Audit Office benefitted from the arrangement through a training.

The performance audit training was significant and timely because his Office needed to audit programmes for the Vanuatu Government.

The Auditor General said all of his staff participated in a week-long workshop which was facilitated by Mrs. Terry Campbell, a consultant based with Queensland Audit Office.

Mr. Sandy explained that when the arrangement was established, a Twinning Action Plan was agreed upon whereby, the Queensland Audit Office agrees to assist the Vanuatu Audit Office in four main areas.

These include, performance audit, financial audit of state-owned enterprises, audit into Value Added Tax (VAT) programme and data analytics.

Out of the training, the staff were able to develop an action plan and they chose two issues which the office was requested to conduct an audit into.

They are currently executing the audit field work into the passport shortage and gender equality which was recommended by former director of Department of Women’s Affairs (DWA), Mrs. Dorosday Kenneth Watson, who is also currently, the Director General of Justice.

Both audits are expected to be completed by September where all reports will be compiled and handed over to Ministry of Finance, Department of Immigration as well as PAC and Director DWA.

Further decisions on the outcome of the audit of the two respective institutions, subjected to the audit, rests on PAC and DWA.

The National Audit Office is prepared to conduct a performance audit on the National Sustainable Development Plan which will be executed during mid-October.

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